Photos of the Sun

Luna Miranda Solar System Satellites

Luna Miranda Solar System Satellites

Miranda is the smallest moon of the five main satellites that the planet Uranus possesses. It was discovered by the American astronomer Gerard Kuiper on February 16, 1948. As with other Uranus satellites, its name comes from the work of the English writer William Shakespeare. More exactly, it refers to Miranda's character, the daughter of the Prosperous magician, who appears in "The Tempest."

Miranda has a programmed orbit, counterclockwise, and is almost circular. It is composed of an approximately equal mixture of ice and rock. It is the moon closest to Uranus, and the semi-major axis of its orbit is 129,900 kilometers.

Miranda was photographed by Voyager 2 in January 1986. As you can see in this image, its surface is a mass of piled rocks. There are also great faults, cracks, cliffs, deep canyons and cliffs. Astronomers believe that, throughout its evolution, Miranda may have been shattered several times, which have subsequently come back together.

Some of the Miranda canyons have a depth of up to 20 kilometers. This is the case of the so-called Verona Escarpment. It has a V-shape, and its name is in honor of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". Some of Miranda's craters are also large, such as Alonso, which has a diameter of 24 kilometers.

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